From: "McPhail, Thomas L." <>
To: <>
Date: Fri, Jun 30, 2006 11:25 AM
The University of Missouri-St. Louis

Fiona Alexander
June 30, 2006
Office of International Affairs
1401 Constitution Avenue
Suite 4701
Washington, DC 20230

Ms. Alexander:

I am writing in response to NTIA's call for comments regarding the transition of Internet DNS to the private sector. I would like to focus on one major issue. Namely, the need to internationalize ICANN's senior management and Boards.

The current global criticism of both NTIA and ICANNS roles is primarily the USA centric decision making, which was exacerbated by the political decision about the XXX issue. Unless ICANN rather quickly moves to be more transparent as well as open positions for non-American experts and membership at top levels then the fragmentation of the Internet along national lines will almost certainly occur. This will result in a "Tower of Babel" series of systems along with differing protocols. It will undermine the global economy, particularly as it relates to ICTs.

Failure to widen and open ICANN will lead to more China type approaches to Internet governance being pursued. The moment and opportunity to change is at hand. Ethnocentric decision-making needs to be replaced by more global and cooperative plans, policies, and stakeholders.

In closing and under separate cover I will forward my take on ICANN in greater detail as outlined in my new book entitled: GLOBAL COMMUNICATION (London: Blackwell Publishers, 2006), pages 309-310.

Finally, in the Information Age your public hearings should have allowed for virtual interventions, particularly when discussing the future of the Internet. This is but another sad example of how the Department of Commerce is still in the dark ages when it comes to the application of ICTs as well as Internet practices.


Thomas L. McPhail, Ph.D
Professor of Media Studies